Apple Fires Back at Google for Criticizing Over Privacy Concerns

Craig Federighi, software chief at Apple said he does not agree with the acquisition that privacy for Apple users is becoming a luxury, which is a response to Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google who raised criticism.

A few weeks ago, Pichai wrote an op-ed in The New York Times, mentioning that privacy is not something that should be accessible only to the people who can afford to have premium services.

Though he did not clearly mention Apple’s name but it was obvious seeing that recently Apple has been promoting its $999 phone for its privacy benefits.

In an interview to The Independent Magazine, Federighi argued that Apple products are not exactly a luxury, in fact, they try to reach maximum customers they can.

Both companies have different business models to follow. Apple directly sells expensive products to its users and does not require to collect much user data.

Whereas, Google provides various free services and earn by running ads on them. To run targeted ads, user data is often acquired. According to Pichai, users must have access to services that provide the maximum privacy possible.

Federighi also indirectly hinting back at Google said that it's good to see that others companies are also showing concern about privacy, but they need to work more to change their business practices as a large part of the company is dependent on collecting user information.

Apple has been facing other criticism as well, like the company should not store the data of Chinese users on iCloud service in China because of the chance that county might use it against its people. Also, that as Apple does not collect much user data, it has been unable to advance its AI features like Siri.

Responding to this criticism, he said that because of the minimum data collection technique by Apple has fewer chances of data risk as compared to other companies. According to him, even if someone tries to access the data, there will not be much of its use on the Chinese iCloud server as data is encrypted and very little of the user data is collected.

Federighi believes that collecting users’ data for developing AI features is not something remarkable. Instead of advancing AI without much data collection is something should be appreciable, even though it demands additional working.

Apple uses other ways to collect data and trains its AI algorithms, like through public photo catalogs and podcasts are used instead of users’ voice recordings. Previously Apple also clarifies that to keep privacy intact, user data is anonymized before learning from it.


The privacy war between these two tech giants does not seem to calm down any time soon. Apple has a strong point for its business model of not collecting user data for ads, which will help the company become prominent in tech space.

After Facebook’s continuous privacy controversies, Google has realized that there is a wave against data collection. Small changes are brought in so that the users’ concerns are reduced.

This month, Google announced an easy-to-ready privacy policy which is for Nest devices, ad tracking can be limited in Chrome and incognito mode are introduced for Google Maps and Search as well.

Apple’s software chief, Craig Federighi dismisses Google CEO’s criticism over turning privacy into a ‘luxury good’
Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

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